The transport ministry said that there have been 807 accidents involving vehicles driving against the flow of traffic since January this year. Out of that total, 29 fatalities were recorded, 17 cases had serious injuries, 49 with minor injuries and 712 cases involving damage.
The statistics were revealed by transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong yesterday during question time at the Dewan Rakyat. He said that such accidents were primarily due to human factors, such as driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, speeding or because of a lack of focus while on the road.
He however noted that fatal crashes involving those who were under the influence of drugs and alcohol had dropped slightly following the introduction of harsher penalties introduced under amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987, The Star reports.
“Based on the data we received, from January until July this year, the total number of fatal car crashes stood at 2,560 cases. From the total, 11 cases involving fatalities were due to the influence of alcohol and drugs,” he said.
He said that initial findings from a Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) study have revealed that the new intervention measures look to be working. The ongoing study, which has been commissioned by the ministry, is looking to establish if the harsher penalties have helped reduce occurrences of driving under influence.
“From what we have found, the mandatory jail term does serve as a deterrent,” he said, pointing out that there has been a change of mindset from before, when many would attempt to drive home despite being inebriated.
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